Overbites most commonly affect children- and a fairly large portion, at that. In fact, nearly 7 out of 10 dental disorders in children can be classified as such. Before exploring the different treatment options, it’s important to understand the different types of overbite: horizontal and vertical.

These are the two primary types of overbites. Horizontal overbites are characterized by teeth that stick or jut out in front of the bottom teeth. By contrast, vertical overbites happen when the teeth on top of the mouth overlap the bottom ones. While they may seem opposite, both types of overbite have many things in common. For one, both are caused by dental or even skeletal issues. A “dental cause” means that the teeth are to blame, while skeletal overbites are caused by problems with the jaw bones. Determining the type is important for deciding on the most appropriate form of treatment, and your Phoenix dental professional will guide you throughout the process.

Overbites can be caused by several different factors. More often than note, they are hereditary, being inherited from family and thus not being able to be prevented. However, poor oral habits in childhood are also a huge culprit. Tongue thrusting, prolonged thumb-sucking, extensive pacifier use, and nail biting are all such examples of behaviors and habits that can lead to and intensify an overbite. The developmental phase that spans toddler years and early childhood is a critical period for jaw development, and these unhealthy habits can produce uneven growth. Once the overbite has developed fully, it becomes more of a challenge to fix.

Additionally, overbites can lead to other physical ailments and issues. The most common include: speech impediments (notably lisps); pain in the jaw and cheek muscles; difficulty chewing and swallowing; a premature wearing down of the enamel of the teeth, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay; increased risk of tooth damage; and damage to the soft tissues on the roof of the mouth.

While Invisalign can typically fix the issue, sometimes tooth extractions and/or surgery may be necessary. Contact our Scottsdale Cosmetic Dentist office for help with an overbite.

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